FMLA Guidelines

We’ll assist you in tracking and managing intermittent FMLA leave … fighting FMLA fraud and FMLA abuse … and managing FMLA in general.

Beyond mastering FMLA regulations on intermittent leave, we’ll share FMLA guidelines on how to curb FMLA abuse, and dramatically improve your overall FMLA compliance.

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Especially in a lousy economy, fired employees will look for a reason to sue. You must be able to defend every discharge against possible discrimination and retaliation claims. The only safe approach is to document that you treated every employee equally. You simply can’t cut slack for one employee and not another.

You no doubt know you should act fast to investigate when employees complain about discrimination. But that doesn’t mean you need to rush to complete your inquiry in just one day.
Some employers cut more slack than the FMLA requires when employees fail to give timely notice that they want to take FMLA leave. The company typically might send an employee a letter informing her that, since she didn’t show up for her last scheduled shift or offered an explanation, she has five days to return or explain why she can’t work. If the reason is one covered by the FMLA, she may already have lost the right to claim FMLA leave.

When employees are fired for absenteeism, they may be quick to point to unequal treatment, saying other workers kept their jobs but were absent more often. One way to avoid such claims is to install a point system to punish absenteeism, terminating employees who accumulate too many points.

The March of Dimes devotes itself to promoting healthy babies—in the community and among its own employees. To that end, working moms can take 26 weeks off—six with full pay—with a guarantee that their jobs will be waiting for them when they return. They also get another week of paid sick leave. The organization also doubled its paternity benefit last year.

Sometimes, a new supervisor takes the opportunity to settle old scores with former co-workers. And that can create liability for the employer. So before the promotion kicks in, teach your newly minted managers that federal laws prohibit supervisors from retaliating against workers for everything from taking FMLA leave to filing a workers’ comp claim.
We’ve all tussled with sending employees to fitness-for-duty exams when returning from an injury or illness. When are they the right decision? When do they create liability? As this case shows, it’s best to let the doctor make the right call …
Does your call-in policy demand that employees contact their supervisor daily when they’re out sick? If so, can you still require that of employees who are out on FMLA leave? Here’s what a ruling said last week …

Terminating someone who is pregnant or who just gave birth can be dangerous. If you must fire her, make sure you can provide clear and consistent reasons. Tell supervisors they should never make comments that sound as if the real reason is pregnancy.

Issue: Half of all HR professionals say they've approved FMLA requests that they believed weren't legitimate. Risk: Employees who "work" the system to earn ...
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